Jupiter – A powerful message through “TEARS OF THE SUN”

After debuting in the summer of 2013 with the single “Blessing of the Future” Jupiter’s lineup has been consistent, in the sense of it existing out of ZIN on vocals, HIZAKI and TERU on guitars, MASASHI on bass and YUKI on drums. In 2015 however, bassist MASASHI and drummer YUKI both announced that they would be leaving the group, and were replaced by RUCY (ex. KILLANETH) and DAISUKE (ex.ROACH) respectively just before the release of this mini-album, which also meant that the new members could join in the creative process and add their own ideas and preferences to it.

With a different lineup comes a slightly different sound, of course, but does this mini-album still capture the Jupiter that we got to know over the years? Let’s find out…

 

TEARS OF THE SUN

(Words & Music: HIZAKI)
Right off the bat the first song of the album sounds like the familiar works of Jupiter with it’s fast rhythm and cheerful yet melodic vocals until the bridge part of the song clears the stage for the guitars to show what they’re capable of, without overpowering the bass and drums entirely. “TEARS OF THE SUN” is your typical HIZAKI-style composition, a style which has quite literally became the staple of Jupiter at this point.

 

Jupiter – TEARS OF THE SUN (Official Image Video)

 

 

WE AGAINST

(Words: ZIN / Music: HIZAKI)
Where the first song draws you in with it’s melodic style, “WE AGAINST” is quite the opposite. It still draws you in, but in the style of an anthem, a riot anthem with a slower pace than you’d probably expect from Jupiter. With a large part of the lyrics being sung in full English it’s a powerful reminder that while it is “we against the world”, you shouldn’t give up on the things that you love in life. Here too the bridge is the point where the guitars take the center stage, but similarly to “TEARS OF THE SUN” it’s not an all-overpowering solo, in fact they are in perfect unison with ZIN’s vocals roaring over them.

 

The Crucifixion

(Words & Music: HIZAKI)
While this is also a HIZAKI composition, it’s a very interesting one because it’s not his typical style that we’ve heard so often throughout the years. The tempo is closer to the opening song of the album, but the vocals are as aggressive as they’ll ever be, allowing ZIN to make full use of both his upper and lower vocal range throughout the song, creating the illusion of two versions of himself having a conversation with one another. The drums are also brought to the foreground more than usual in Jupiter’s works, and of course leaving room for the guitars to show their skills yet again, building up the tension before an instrumental ending worthy of being in a horror or thriller movie.

 

Guilty as Sin

(Words: ZIN / Music: HIZAKI)
It surprised me to only see “Guilty as Sin” return on this mini-album, instead of “The spirit within me” or both of these songs, considering the single these two songs are part of was only distributed through Jupiter’s webshop and was a little harder to obtain, especially for foreign fans. This might also be the reason why it doesn’t sound like this song was composed with the other songs in mind, with it’s different tempo and vibe it is a fun bonus song for this release, but definitely doesn’t fit in properly with the others. The lyrics express despair throughout the entire song, but it also serves as a motivator to not feel sorry for yourself but instead do something about it – this theme however does seem to fit with the rest of this album.

 

TOPAZ -symphonic ver.-

(Words & Music: HIZAKI)
“TOPAZ” is a love song in every shape and form, with lyrics mostly sung in English and a little bit in Japanese. Shedding tears for a long lost lover, located far away. As one would expect just from the description of it being a “love song”, this song pulls down the tempo of the album and brings it to an emotional conclusion. Just like the previous song it’s inclusion on this album is a little questionable, even if it has been changed to a symphonic version opposed to the original single that came out earlier already in 2015. It is an interesting take on an already pretty decent ballad song, but once again, it’s inclusion on this album is a little odd, it doesn’t seem to fit with the theme that was laid out for us initially.

 

Conclusion

While this album brings us three new songs to enjoy, it also included two songs from previous releases (“Guilty as Sin” being released on “The spirit within me” single in January of this year and the “TOPAZ” single being released in 2015) which are fun bonus songs, but don’t seem to fit the rest of the album very well. It is however interesting to hear ZIN sing in the symphonic ballad style on this version of “TOPAZ”, but I do think that the label of “mini-album” was a bit too much for what we have received as listeners. The first three songs would have made a powerful single that continued the style heard on “The spirit within me” perfectly, rather than becoming a mini-album with two songs that don’t seem to fit properly.

At the same time, it’s interesting to hear what Jupiter’s new lineup is capable of, since from the very beginning they have tried to shake off the “Jupiter is basically Versailles, but without KAMIJO”-description, because all of the instrument players are also a part of Versailles. “The spirit within me” was a release in which Jupiter was a 3-members lineup, but “TEARS OF THE SUN” completes the hole left by MASASHI and YUKI with a new bassist and drummer.

Ignoring the two “bonus songs”, the ugly duckling in the tracklist is undoubtedly “The Crucifixion”, since it explores a different style of Jupiter which we haven’t heard before, but also gave ZIN the opportunity to showcase the long, high notes we’ve only heard in live versions of “ARCADIA” up until now. I’m curious to see what this newly discovered skill will bring us in the future!

 

Release information

Are you interested in supporting the band by getting your own copy of the release? Here is something to get you started:

Theory of Evolution

01. TEARS OF THE SUN
02. WE AGAINST
03. The Crucifixion
04. Guilty as Sin
05. TOPAZ -symphonic ver.-

Artist: Jupiter
Release: TEARS OF THE SUN (mini-album)
Release date: May 10, 2017
CD number: POCS-1584

 

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